In the festive season of Winterfair on the planet Barrayar, Lord Miles Vorkosigan is making elaborate preparations for his wedding. The long-awaited event stirs up romance and intrigue among his eccentric family and friends, particularly for bioengineered space mercenary Sergeant Taura and shy, diffident Armsman Roic. But Miles also has an enemy who is plotting to turn the romantic ceremony into a festival of death.
Winterfair Gifts offers another of Bujold's witty, character-centered science-fiction plots with a twist of romance.
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Vorkosigan saga.
©2004 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Miles is one of the most enjoyable characters in science fiction." (School Library Journal)
Although winterfair gifts is a short story about wedding, it is worth the listen as all of Admiral Nesmith's and Mile's friends and family come to celebrate with him.
laugh out loud
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This might be the most tender of the Vorkosigan canon. Tarrin is an amazing character and this deals with the very different limits of her life and what that means to everyone around her. Most of Lois' work is deeply funny. There's humor here, and completion, but a deeper sorrow than in most of her work. But don't not read it for that. You do want to read it.
Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.
A Miles story where Miles is almost an incidental character. Taura finally gets another story story (after her introduction in Boarders of Infinity) and we see how her character has grown and aged.
If you are new to the Vorkosigan Series do not start here. This is a light and insubstantial treat which fills in an important peice of Miles' story. Both amusing and moving. Enjoy.
avid audible fan for many years now
I had read the whole series of Miles Vorkosigan Novels, but not this one. I felt it maybe too short to tell a decent story. I was wrong. It worked very well as it filled in some gaps in the whole adventure.
Lois is a such a fantastic writer, filling each story, each chapter with so much detail. All this detail has relevance thats what amazes me.
The sad part is I have read the whole series now and I want more.
And I take my hat off the Grover Gardner also , the narrator , he helps make the characters very real.
The Older Geek Guy
Fills a gap in the Vorkosigan Saga but is way to short. A compilation of the shorter stories would be appreciated. But "Gifts" kept me engaged for every minute!
In the old days, Lois McMaster Bujold was an edgy author, whose characters endured sexual abuse, mind control, torture, slavery, mutilation...you name it. Her best stories - which are among THE best stories ever told - are about how people recover from the wounds dealt to them by life.
However, the last few Miles Vorkosigan books have been short on wounds and long on recovery. Having punished her characters enough, Bujold has decided to give even minor characters a free pass to the happy healing land of Prince Charming fantasy fairytale fluff, where every man is strong, capable, sensitive, dutiful, and a little shy, and every woman is smart, confident, independent, awkward about her femininity, but unabashed about her sexuality.
That said, I LIKE Bujold's decent, kind world. I wish I could go live there. It helped with the believability when she made its inhabitants pay the cost of having their chests riddled with killer needles, but even in its current lighthearted comedy-of-manners incarnation I'll take Bujold's world over the real one any day of the week.
I love weddings and it's about time for Miles and Ekaterine to start their new lives together. But just like all the old friends coming to share it with them some old enemies come out of the woodwork to haunt both of them. But the Vorkosigan's have always had 2 things: A#1 Staff and Loyal Dedicated Friends. But will it be enough in time to save Ekaterine? And the future of the Vorkosigan Line?
Lois MacMaster Bujold is certainly in my top 5 for favorite authors. (Possibly top 3) I can't get enough of Miles Vorkosigan. Even when its not directly about Miles, its enough to give me my Vorkosigan Fix. More More More, we want More!
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Warning: Contains spoilers for previous VORKOSIGAN books.
Winterfair Gifts is a novella that tells the story of Miles Vorkosigan’s wedding to the widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. It you want to follow the chronology, it should be read after A Civil Campaign and before Diplomatic Immunity. You will probably also want to first read the short story “Labyrinth” which can be found as a stand-alone or in the novel Borders of Infinity.
This story is told from the perspective of one of Miles’ new armsmen — Roic — who we (or at least I) remember fondly as the tall muscular guard who was nearly naked and slathered in bug butter in A Civil Campaign. Here he recounts the wedding preparations and the arrival of the guests, including many old friends, at Vorkosigan house.
One of the special wedding guests is Taura, the weregirl who Miles saved from a Jackson Whole dungeon in “Labyrinth.” At first Roic is frightened by Taura, but when Alice Vorpatril gets a hold of her, Taura is transformed into the beauty that Miles knows she can be. Besides being pretty, Roic soon learns that Taura is also interesting, brave, smart, and maybe most importantly to Roic, she’s loyal to Miles. Together Roic and Taura uncover an assassination plot and save the day.
Winterfair Gifts is an important part of the VORKOSIGAN saga partly because it reunites many of Miles’ friends and describes the wedding. (Unfortunately, it didn’t help me like Ekaterin any better.) This story is also of interest because its point of view character is one of the people who works for the Vorkosigans, so we get a feel for “below stairs” life in a Vor family. But mostly Winterfair Gifts is important because it sets up Roic as a competent (though not yet confident) armsman who we’ll be seeing more of in subsequent books. Self-confidence is a theme in Winterfair Gifts — both Roic and Taura grow in that area.
Winterfair Gifts was nominated for a Hugo Award. I listened to Grover Gardener narrate Blackstone Audio’s version.
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